October park activities: Crown Beach cleanup, Sunol celebration and corn husk doll making

October park activities: Crown Beach cleanup, Sunol celebration and corn husk doll making

SAN FRANCISCO EAST BAY, CA (Oct 10, 2021) — Crown Beach in Alameda is one of the most beautiful shorelines on San Francisco Bay. You can help make it even more so by joining in a volunteer beach cleanup session from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, led by park district naturalist Michael Charnofsky.

Volunteers should bring their own gloves and bucket if possible, though both will be available for loan. The event is for ages eight and older and parents should accompany youngsters. It’s free, of course, but registration is required.

While you are at the beach, check out the prize-winning California Coastal and Ocean Amateur Photography Exhibit at Crab Cove Visitor Center. Sponsored by the California Coastal Commission, the photos are on display through December during visitor center hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Entry is free.

And it’s fish feeding time from 3 to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at the visitor center aquarium, where the staff provides food for the crabs, moray eel, perch, pipefish and other fish from the Bay.

The visitor center is at the end of McKay Avenue off Alameda’s Central Avenue. For information on the exhibit call 510-544-3187. To register for the cleanup, call 888-327-2757 and select option 2.

Sunol Regional Wilderness

Sunol Regional Wilderness in southern Alameda County has a long and fascinating history, starting with the Ohlone Peoples who called the area home for millennia, and continuing through a century of ranching and homesteading.

The park will celebrate its history with music, crafts, games and other activities in a free event from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, hosted by naturalist Kristina Parkison.

Sunol Regional Wilderness and its visitor center are at the end of Geary Road off Calaveras Road about five miles south of I-680 and the town of Sunol. There’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. For information, call 510-544-3249.

Ardenwood Farm corn husk dolls

Corn husk doll making is on the agenda from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16 at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, using corn husks and other materials gleaned from the fields.

Then from 3 to 3:30 p.m. you can help with the farm chores – feed the chickens and livestock, and learn the animals’ favorite foods.

Both programs are free of charge and registration is not required.

Ardenwood is located at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, just north of Highway 84. Admission fees apply; parking is free. For information, call 510-544-2797.

Black Diamond spiders

As mentioned in a previous column, this is the tarantula mating season, when the male spiders venture forth from their burrows in search of females for purposes of procreation.

Naturalist Virginia Delgado will introduce Hazel, the tarantula in residence at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch, during a meet-and-greet from 4 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Virginia and Hazel will be at Black Diamond Mines’ upper parking lot, at the end of Somersville Road about 3½ miles south of Highway 4. The program is free.

Or if spiders are not your thing, join naturalist Kevin Dixon on one of his “Beautiful Brunches” hikes. Kevin is leading a moderate, 2.4-mile hike from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17 at Black Diamond Mines.

Bring your favorite food and drink. Wear comfortable clothes and good footgear, some trails are steep and rough.

The hike is free of charge, but registration is required. To register, call 888-327-2757 and select option 2.

Black Diamond Mines has a parking fee of $5 per vehicle when the kiosk is attended. For general park information, call 510-544-2750.

These are just a few of the programs planned in coming days in the East Bay Regional Parks. For a complete listing, visit the website, www.ebparks.org.

Ned MacKay writes a regular column about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activities. Email him at nedmackay@comcast.net.